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Dairy Facts 2016

U.S. Dairy Achieves Big Wins at Codex; Work on Processed Cheese Standard Discontinued

Jul 18, 2017
(L to R) John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, and Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel, attended the CAC meeting in Geneva.

Since the end of the last century (late 1990s), IDFA has been working to convince the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) to discontinue work on a standard for processed cheese due to the obvious lack of suitability for these products, as marketed globally, to be standardized. Today, IDFA finally achieved this goal with the strong support of its members, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the U.S. government during the annual CAC meeting being held this week in Geneva, Switzerland. 

“Specifically, the CAC formally agreed to discontinue all work on a processed cheese standard,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel, who attended the meeting as a member of the official U.S. delegation. “This is a signal victory for our National Cheese Institute members.”

John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, also attended the meeting as a member of the IDF delegation. 

Although numerous countries raised objections and reservations, the chair of the Commission stood firm, saying that the recommendation of the Codex Executive Committee to discontinue work should be respected as there had been no proposed solutions or ways forward over the past year, as requested of members at last year’s CAC meeting.

Dairy Permeate Powder Standard Finalized

The Commission also adopted the Codex Standard for Dairy Permeate Powder, which had been under development over the past few years and was strongly supported by IDFA, the entire U.S. dairy sector and the U.S. government. This adoption will help ensure greater global market access for U.S. exporters of this dairy ingredient.

Mozzarella Standard Additive Provisions Sent to Food Additives Committee

The Commission agreed that the work related to the use of preservatives and anticaking agents for surface treatment of Mozzarella with high moisture content should be addressed through the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA). Given that the processed cheese and dairy permeate powder standards are no longer being considered, the Commission decided that there was no need to reconvene the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP) and that the CCFA could take this work on.

The CCMMP will now adjourn with no set date to reconvene until sufficient new work is proposed by Codex members to justify reactivation.

IDFA will provide additional details on outcomes of the Commission meeting when it concludes at the end of the week.

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